The vice-president of Venezuela, Delcy Rodríguez, accused on Tuesday night (21) the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – a UN court located in The Hague – of being “partial” in a territorial dispute between Caracas and Guyana because one of the judges would have “supported former deputy Juan Guaidó”.
The judge cited by Rodríguez is the Romanian Bogdan-Lucian Aurescu, who was Romania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs in two periods, between 2014 and 2015 and, later, between 2019 and 2023.
The justification presented by the vice-president for accusing the magistrate was a correspondence between Aurescu and Venezuelan opponent Julio Borges, who during the so-called “interim government” of Juan Guaidó performed the functions of the fictitious position of chancellor.
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“The curious thing is that this judge, when he was Romanian chancellor, addresses Julio Borges recognizing him as chancellor of Venezuela. It is really a very serious situation, as his country had already recognized Guaidó as the supposed president of Venezuela,” said Rodríguez .
The document was displayed by the vice-president in a video published on your social networks. The same letter was also published by Venezuelan lawyer Mario Guillermo Massone Osorio on his social networks during the period in which he was Guaidó’s “ambassador” in Romania.
In January 2019, then opposition deputy Juan Guaidó “self-proclaimed” president of Venezuela in an attempted coup d’état to overthrow Nicolás Maduro. The action was supported by the US and Guaidó’s “interim government” was recognized by more than 50 countries, including Romania.
Aurescu, who was the country’s chancellor during the period of Guaidó’s recognition, was elected to the ICJ on November 9 to be one of the Court’s 15 judges, which renews five posts every three years.
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“How can a person who currently holds a position as a judge at the ICJ so flagrantly violate the law and Constitution of Venezuela? It is rude and barbaric,” said Rodríguez.
The vice-president also stated that “this is the reason for our historic stance of not leaving decisions regarding our Guyana Essequiba to third parties who do not respect Venezuelan laws.” Neither Judge Aurescu nor the ICJ had commented on the accusations at the time of writing this article.
Essequibo hair dispute
Venezuela and Guyana are in dispute over the sovereignty of the Essequibo border territory, which covers 160,000 km² and has around 120,000 inhabitants. The case has been going on since the 19th century, but gained new importance in 2015, after the discovery of gigantic marine oil reserves off the region’s coast.
Guyana granted authorizations to the North American company Exxon Mobil to explore the wells, without Caracas’ consent. The Venezuelan government claims that the country could not start drilling in a sea that is not delimited.
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In 2018, Guyana took the case to the ICJ and demands that the Venezuelan government stop claiming its sovereignty over the territory. Venezuela, in turn, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the Court in The Hague to judge the case and has called a referendum for December 3rd that seeks to legitimize its claims for popular support.
Editing: Leandro Melito